Chapter 208: Inner Disciple Ranking
"I heard the second strongest core disciple of Wanren Peak, Quick Saber Lin Feng, say that as long as Xiao Chen appears, he would come settle scores with him."
"I saw a few Wanren Peak disciples leaving earlier, they must be going to inform Lin Feng. There will be a good show later."
Even after Xiao Chen heard all this, he did not pay it too much mind. As long as it was not an elder making a move; he had the confidence to deal with any core disciple within the Heavenly Saber Pavilion.
This so-called 'hindrance' could be used to increase Xiao Chen's combat experience. As for this old man, Xiao Chen had not expected for him to have hidden his status so deeply. He was completely different from his ordinary looks.
The old man's expression was like an ancient well, there were no ripples on it. After they reached a big hall, he said indifferently, "We have arrived. This is the Ranking Hall. You can find your own position on the rankings here."
The big hall was quite huge and in the middle of it were ten wooden walls. Each wooden wall had a group of people standing in front of it. They were either shaking their heads and sighing or they looked very excited; everyone's expressions were different.
The old man led Xiao Chen to the last wooden wall. When the group saw the old man, they immediately parted a path for them. Xiao Chen noticed that all the cultivators surrounding this wall had dejected expressions on their faces.
"The Heavenly Saber Pavilion has a total of 5,000 inner disciples. This number has always been fixed. These 5,000 disciples all have a ranking. The ones on the wall you see here are the last 500 inner disciples. After the end-of-year Ranking War, the last 500 inner disciples would be stripped of their inner disciple status," said the old man in explanation to Xiao Chen.
So that was why. No wonder the inner disciples gathered here all had dejected expressions. It is because the Heavenly Saber Pavilion's elimination system was so harsh. They would eliminate 500 inner disciples every year.
Xiao Chen looked at the wooden wall. The wall had ten rows on it and each row had fifty wooden tokens. Each wooden token represented an inner disciple.
On the wooden token, there was the inner disciple's name, cultivation realm, peak, and other basic information. Xiao Chen searched for a while before finding his wooden token after a moment.
Xiao Chen's wooden token was placed in a very prominent position. The end of the last row. That meant in the entire 5,000 inner disciples, he was ranked last. The words Qingyun Peak, Ye Chen, Inferior Grade Martial Grand Master were on the token.
The Hall of Contributions' Executive Elder removed Xiao Chen's wooden token and the wooden tokens on the entire wall moved around immediately; all the wooden tokens on the wooden wall had moved back by one space.
The old man took Xiao Chen's wooden token and walked to another wooden wall, placing it on the last position of the last row.
Xiao Chen's ranking had risen by 500 places in one go. The crowd broke out into chaos. They had never seen anyone increase their ranking by 500 places in one go before.
"That's not fair, I worked so hard doing sect missions and accumulated my strength. Yet, I am not able to even advance by ten places in a month. Why can he leap up by 500 places in one go?"
"That's right. I spent so many months training bitterly but I am only able to challenge the people ten places above me. The most I ever advanced was ten places. How did he advance 500 places in a go?"
The old man's expression did not change. He slowly turned around and looked at the crowd. All the chatter immediately stopped and it became incredibly quiet.
"If you are in the last 500 places and completed a high level sect mission with an exceptional evaluation on your first mission, you can escape from the last 500 places."
The crowd finally remembered, the Ranking Hall indeed had such a rule. However, it was impossible for them to obtain high level missions. The only ones they could obtain were the ones rated dangerous. It was also very difficult to obtain an exceptional evaluation.
So for a very long time, no one within the Heavenly Saber Pavilion had raised their rank using such a method. That was why the crowd was all riled up.
Xiao Chen did not really care about all this. To him, the Heavenly Saber Pavilion was simply a pitstop. After he learned Listening To the Sword and Communicating With It, he would leave immediately. He did not have any plans to stay in the long-term.
The Tianwu continent was huge and Xiao Chen's sight was set on the continental scale since long ago. Perhaps, the Heavenly Saber Pavilion was a very strong power in the Great Qin Nation. However, in the perspective of the whole continent, or even the whole world...
Outside of the Tianwu Continent, there was still the boundless ocean. It was also said there were countless islands across the boundless ocean. There were also numerous strong cultivators there. Thinking this way, the Heavenly Saber Pavilion could really be considered nothing. That's why Xiao Chen did not care too much about his status as an inner disciple.
"That's it, I still have something to do. You will slowly come to learn of the other rules naturally," the old man said indifferently.
Before he left, he gave Xiao Chen a meaningful look and said, "I'll leave some final words. Young Man, don't sharpen your blade too much, biting off more than you can chew, or set your sights too high. The Heavenly Saber Pavilion is able to exist for a long time. It is far from being as simple as you think it to be."
"This thing... the so-called 'geniuses', they are the cheapest existence here. Don't set your heart on the sky. Settle down, blend in. Look at this mountain carefully, it is far more magnificent than you imagine it to be.
Xiao Chen revealed an extremely shocked expression. This old man was only giving him a casual warning, yet it was as if he seen through his thoughts.
The old man's words made Xiao Chen think. Don't set your heart on the sky. Settle down, blend in... Is he saying I am too arrogant?
Doesn't matter, let's take a look at the situation first. Since Xiao Chen was already here, he did not plan on immediately leaving. Every journey started with a single step.
Xiao Chen walked to the first wall, the top 500 inner disciples in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion were ranked here. The wooden wall looked similar to the other wooden walls. There were also ten rows of fifty people. However, the back of the wall was different. There was a layer of gold painted on the back. It seemed to have the purpose of honoring them.
However, the top 500 did deserve this glory. When one saw their name on it, they would feel proud when they spoke about it.
Survival of the fittest, it was a very good competitive mechanism. This was a pretty good method for retaining talented people. Xiao Chen admired this ranking system quite a bit.
Looking up, the names of the top ten people were scarlet; like blood. They stood out from the from the mess of black words. What made Xiao Chen surprised was that these ten people were not the core disciples of the Heavenly Saber Pavilion.
Xiao Chen did not know which peak they were from or what were their cultivation realms. The only information there was their name. They were listed as unknown. It seemed very mysterious.
Could it be that the strongest disciples in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion were not the true inheritors? Xiao Chen thought to himself. He carefully continued looking and he finally found the first true inheritor after the fiftieth place.
Wanren Peak's true inheritor, Wang Qinian. He was an Inferior Grade Martial Saint. Even the strongest true inheritor was only ranked in the fifties. When he thought about it, Xiao Chen decided to find out the rank of the so-called 'Quick Saber Lin Feng.'
Xiao Chen continued to search and finally saw Lin Feng's name in the third row. Wanren Peak's core disciple, a Superior Grade Martial Saint. The second strongest core disciple of Wanren Peak was only ranked around a hundred.
How were the rankings decided on the wooden wall? Why does it feel like it was not accurate? Xiao Chen started to feel doubts.
"Ye Chen!" someone behind Xiao Chen called out his name just as he was deep in thought. When he turned around, he discovered it was Ma Chen, the one who went to do the mission in the Spirit Mine with him.
When Ma Chen saw Xiao Chen turn around, he walked over joyfully. He said, "It really is you! Junior Brother Ye Chen, I have not seen you for more than a month. I thought something had happened to you."
When Xiao Chen saw him, he felt a little apologetic. He explained to him why he was forced to knock him unconscious that day and that he did not have any malicious intent in doing so.
Ma Chen waved it off and said, "No need to mention it, I understand the situation. Speaking of which, what a strong backing you have! The Young Pavilion Master personally sent someone down to look for you."
Xiao Chen felt it was strange. He asked, "You know about this matter? Does anyone else know about it?"
Ma Chen shook his head. "There should not be anyone else. I had only emerged about half a month ago myself. I did not know what happened in the Spirit Mines. I was isolated for a long time."
The two of them continued to chat for a while and Xiao Chen understood a little of what had happened after he left. The events in the Spirit Mines were not spread out. Everything in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion went on as normal.
No one outside knew that one month ago, a shocking event had happened underground, one that might potentially turn into a threat to the entire Heavenly Saber Pavilion.
Suddenly, it occurred to Xiao Chen, Ma Chen had been in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion longer than he had. He should know what was going on with the rankings. So he asked him about the doubts he had.
Ma Chen laughed for a while before answering. "That is very normal. The true inheritors of the seven great peaks are passed down to the bloodline of the Peak Master. It is not a result of talent. Occasionally, the strength of a true inheritor is even weaker than an ordinary inner disciple.
Xiao Chen said in astonishment, "Are people able to accept it if they became the Peak Master?"
If a Peak Master was weaker than a core Elder, Xiao Chen found it hard to imagine how that person would be able to manage such a huge peak.
"They won't. However, this kind of person is rare. Furthermore, every peak has their own method of inheritance; the old Peak Master could always pass on their cultivation to their inheritors before they died." Ma Chen continued to explain.
"As for the top ten people, they are truly the strongest ten people. They are frequently training outside and rarely come back. So it is normal to not know their cultivation realm. I've seen them before at the Ranking War last year.
"These ten people are very strong, their reputation is well deserved. Several of them are able to attack opponents of a few cultivation levels above them. Furthermore, the way they cultivated was different from the regular inner disciples. They all flocked to the Divine Saber Camp."
So that was why the old man told Xiao Chen the Heavenly Saber Pavilion was not lacking in geniuses. If the top twenty people were all like what Ma Chen had described them to be, then the words of the old man would not be exaggerated at all.
Who could be more of a genius than a person who could transcend cultivation realms and defeat their opponent?
After Ma Chen answered Xiao Chen's question, he continued to explain to him the situation of the rankings change. Aside from doing training or missions, one could also challenge people on the same row to change their rank.
That is to say, the highest one could challenge was an inner disciple ranked 49 places above them. Everyone had the rights to challenge one person every month. The person being challenged could reject it.
However, on the fifteenth of every month, if a person issued a challenge to you on this day, you have to accept it. Otherwise, it would be considered as a forfeit and it would automatically be considered as a loss.
Of course, the most crucial factor was the once-a-year, end-of-year Ranking War. At that time, the entire Heavenly Saber Pavilion would conduct a huge war amongst the inner disciples.
All the points collected in the war were an important factor in deciding the ranking. Naturally, your initial ranking was important too; like the points you had obtained. However, if one was ranked too far behind, it would be useless in the end.